Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool. Doctors and dentists use hypnotherapy as a way to relieve their patients' pain or discomfort. Psychiatrists and psychologists use hypnotherapy for any number of reasons. For instance, behavioral therapists might use hypnotism to help a patient lose weight, quit smoking or stop nail biting. Other therapists might use hypnotism as a way for patients to confront and alleviate painful memories, including memories from early childhood.

Understanding Hypnotherapy

Clearly, hypnotherapy is many things. However, there are many things that hypnotherapy is not. It is not a type of sleep. If you've ever seen a B movie or a carnival act in which the hypnotist puts his charges "to sleep," then you've seen a very skewed version of hypnotism. Hypnotism isn't scary. Patients retain their free will during hypnosis. They do not become slaves to the "master" hypnotist, and cannot be made to perform immoral acts.

Hypnosis is not sleep. Hypnosis is not permanent. It will not put you in someone else's complete control. Rather, hypnosis is a form of trance, and trances are quite a normal, natural human state.

The hypnotized person is in an altered state, in which her body is extraordinarily relaxed, while her mind is very alert and aware. The state is very similar to the state induced by meditation. When used correctly, hypnotism can help you make powerful, permanent changes in your life.

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